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Submarine searching for bodies from migrant boat sinking finds boat off Tripoli coast

Submarine searching for bodies from migrant boat sinking finds boat off Tripoli coast

An image of the sunken boat, shared via the Lebanese Army Twitter page.

BEIRUT — A submarine crew on Thursday found the boat that sank in April while it had been carrying dozens of passengers hoping to make an irregular route to Europe, the Lebanese Army tweeted. It was unclear at the time of reporting whether any of the presumed 30 people still missing had been found. The submarine crew reportedly found the boat off the coast of Tripoli at a depth of 459 meters and a distance of 130 meters from the shipwreck site.

Here’s what we know:

    • Earlier on Thursday, Col. Fadi Abou Eid of the Lebanese Army told L’Orient Today that only pieces of clothing had so far been found at the site of the sinking. The colonel had said that the submarine will resume its work “today and in the coming days, depending on weather conditions,” until the ill-fated boat is found.

    • The army released a video on Wednesday showing the launching of the submarine in the supposed direction of the migrant boat, reporting that the submarine had arrived at the sinking site and was carrying out its mission 6 nautical miles from the shore.

    • The search operation started work on Monday but the army wasn’t able to launch the submarine until Wednesday due to turbulent waters.

    • According to Abou Eid, the submarine, which arrived in Lebanon last Wednesday, will dive to a depth of 470 meters, adding that the navy has created an operation room to closely follow the operation. Lebanese Navy commander Col. Haytham Dennaoui said Monday that the submarine has the capability to reach a depth of 2,180 meters. Dennaoui stressed that “this mission will continue for several days, depending on the results.” He called on citizens to stay away from the search area.

    • Nearly 85 passengers boarded the smuggler boat that sank last April. The passengers were reportedly heading for Europe in an effort to escape the economic crisis in Lebanon. The ship was intercepted by the army about 5.5 kilometers off the Lebanese coast, but there are two conflicting versions as to the cause of its sinking. The army claims that the boat sank because of the overload of passengers on board. The survivors, on the other hand, claim that the military boat purposely collided with the migrant boat. Some 40 people aboard the migrant vessel are believed to have died, the majority of the bodies of those who died have not been recovered.


BEIRUT — A submarine crew on Thursday found the boat that sank in April while it had been carrying dozens of passengers hoping to make an irregular route to Europe, the Lebanese Army tweeted. It was unclear at the time of reporting whether any of the presumed 30 people still missing had been found. The submarine crew reportedly found the boat off the coast of Tripoli at a depth of 459 meters...